InBox: LGBTQ Community Celebrates Pride Month in Philadelphia with Events Throughout the City

PHILADELPHIA — June is LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning) Pride Month, and Philadelphia is celebrating with dozens of events throughout the city. The 2019 celebrations mark the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which took place in June 1969.

The City’s Office of LGBT Affairs helps to coordinate local Pride activities, and this year they are also partnering with the Office of Immigrant Affairs and the Free Library of Philadelphia to explore intersectionality between Philadelphia’s LGBTQ and immigrant communities, while also engaging broader audiences—regardless of how they identify.

“Pride Month is a chance for us to celebrate the history and accomplishments of the LGBTQ community, as well as the progress we’ve made toward building a more inclusive society for all people,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “It is also a time for allies to double-down on our support for our LGBTQ neighbors as they continue to face negative rhetoric from Washington, as well as the ongoing challenges of ignorance, hatred, and bias. We must remain unified as one community as we work to ensure true equality for LGBTQ individuals in Philadelphia, across the country, and around the world.”

“It is a great honor to be part of Philadelphia’s Pride celebrations for 2019—a year with great historical significance for our community as we mark the 50th anniversary of Stonewall,” added Amber Hikes, Executive Director of the Office of LGBT Affairs. “The LGBTQ Rights Movement, which gained prominence 50 years ago through the activism of those present at the Stonewall Riots, has had a challenging past—one that erased the role of queer and transgender people of color in these historic moments. That is why I am so proud of the steps we’ve taken here in Philadelphia to build a more inclusive community. Our own More Color More Pride flag will fly outside of City Hall as a symbol of our commitment to lifting the voices of those who have been marginalized, and the programming happening throughout the month will help elevate those voices and stories as well.”

Events scheduled for Pride Month include:

LGBTQ State of the Union
June 3 | 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
The Kimmel Center
The second annual LGBTQ State of the Union is a forum for LGBTQ Philadelphians to directly engage with the city’s LGBTQ organizations. Executive Directors and board leaders of the LGBTQ+ community will deliver seven-minute lightning talks on their recent accomplishments and goals for the upcoming year. Community members can meet with organizational leaders and board chairs in breakout groups to ask questions and share ideas face to face. This event is free, but tickets are required.

Pride Flag Raising and Pride in the Park
June 6 | Pride Flag Raising, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Pride in the Park, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
City Hall Flag Pole (North Apron) and LOVE Park
The Office of LGBT Affairs kicks off Pride Month with its annual flag raising ceremony at City Hall. The ceremony will include live performances, dynamic speakers, music, and an appearance from Mayor Kenney. It will also mark the opening of the Friends, Peace, and Sanctuary art exhibits at three galleries around the city, including City Hall, the Free Library, and 12 Gates Art. Following the flag raising, the Office will host Pride in the Park at LOVE Park—featuring games, food trucks, a DJ, and other live entertainment.

Philly Lights Up Rainbow
June 9 and June 30 | Evening hours
The Ben Franklin Bridge, Boathouse Row, PECO Crown Lights, the light poles on North Broad Street, the South Street Bridge, and other buildings across the city will light up with the iconic rainbow colors of the LGBTQ flag for Pride Month.

PhiladelphiaFamily Pride Picnic and Arts Festival
June 22 | 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Lovett Memorial Library, 6945 Germantown Avenue
The Office of LGBT Affairs, Philadelphia Family Pride, and the Mt. Airy Art Garage celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots with the Philly Family Pride Picnic and Arts Festival. There will be music, food, fine art and handcraft, and resource tables to provide support and services to LGBTQ youth and parents.

To Belong: A Community Conversation
June 27 | 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Parkway Central Library, The Heim Center, 1901 Vine Street
In recognition of both Immigrant Heritage Month and Pride Month, gather for facilitated conversations that explore what it means to belong. The event is co-sponsored by the Office of Immigrant Affairs, the Office of LGBT Affairs, and the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Free Library Ongoing Programming
The Free Library of Philadelphia is celebrating Pride Month with a series of programming running throughout the month of June. Neighborhood libraries across the city will host poetry events, film screenings, LGBTQ+/gender-diverse “rainbow” storytimes, and more in celebration and support of the LGBTQ community.

To view a full list of events, visit the Pride Month event spotlight page on phila.gov.